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BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BABAK TAFRESHI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Timelapse footage of stars and meteors during the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower, in January 2011. The stars of constellations Corvus and Virgo rise above ruins of ancient city of Qumis, Iran. Several meteors are captured in this sequence. The brightest meteor seen in the wide shot left a persistent train, which is shown in more detail in the second part of the clip. The train is formed of glowing ionized atoms released due to interactions with the upper atmosphere. The faint smog-like cloud expands and moves away during the several minutes of continuous shots because of high altitude winds. The Quadrantids are named after the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis. The radiant of the shower lies in the current constellation Bootes.
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